Eurostat Statistics: In 2018, at least one in four EU businesses advertised on the internet


According to EACA, the internet has become an essential component of communication across the globe between marketers, advertisers and customers. More specifically, websites have become customers’ first port of call for seeking information and eventually purchasing goods or services, whether online or offline. Consequently, businesses are increasing their presence on the internet and improving their advertising practices so that current and prospective customers receive ads with content that is relevant and meaningful to them. This article presents recent statistics on businesses using paid internet advertising in the European Union (EU).

In the last 15 years the internet has redefined traditional broadcast media — television and radio — as well as print media, such as magazines and newspapers. It offers a number of new or extended services, particularly in marketing and advertising. In 2018, some 26 % of EU businesses employing at least 10 people reported using internet advertising. Among the EU Member States in 2018, internet advertising was used by almost every second enterprise in Denmark and Malta (both 47 %), followed by Sweden (44 %), while it concerned less than 20 % of enterprises in Romania (15 %), Portugal (16 %) and France (19 %) (Figure 1).

The use of contextual advertising was far more popular than the other types of targeted internet advertising. This is most likely because the technologies embedded into webpages are easy to implement. Some 80 % of EU businesses advertising on the internet used information from the content of internet surfers’ webpages or keywords from their queries to identify the audience accurately before sending relevant ads. In ten EU countries this type of advertising was used by more than 80 % of businesses using internet ads.

The data presented in EACA’s website article are based on the results of the 2017 and 2018 European Union survey on ‘ICT usage and e-commerce in enterprises’.

Statistics were obtained from business surveys conducted by national statistical authorities in these years. The statistical observation unit is the ‘enterprise’, as set out in Regulation (EC) No 696/1993. The survey covered enterprises (i.e. businesses) employing at least 10 people.

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